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Reintroducing the lynx (1 Viewer)

jurek

Well-known member
It may be less populated but 80% of Scotland’s land area is agricultural land , with 90% of sheep grazing in Less Favoured Areas/Areas of Natural Constraint with dairy and arable farming in lowland areas.

Do you think mainland Europe is wilderness? lynx, wolves and bears live in islands of forests and highlands, where sheep grazing is also concentrated. And increasingly they settle also in the farmland mosaic, too.

Just a recent example. A reintroduced lynx hunted a roe deer in Poland. In the middle of a vast field of wheat in an open farmland:
https://www.facebook.com/powrot.rysia.pomorze.zachodnie/videos/876134772882674/

In modern times, the infamous quote of "its the economy, stupid" shows where public interest truly rests - having financial security above all else.

Actually, economy is firmly on the side of lynx and against sheep farmers. Sheep farming, and other farming in vast areas of Britain has been unprofitable for decades. It persists against the economy because of huge donations. Without these, people would move to profitable jobs in cities, and large areas of Britain would be taken over by tourism, forests and wildlife. This is how continental Europe gets back much of its forests. They grow on the land where 100 or 150 years ago poor farmers tried to grow crops or sheep on low quality land.

My point stands that there isn't enough land with habitat continuity

Modeling showed that Britain is big enough to keep self-sustaining populations of large predators.

That is a major stumbling block which cannot be overlooked. Without amenable landowners, these apex predators would simply be exterminated each time they entered areas where they were not welcome,

Wrong paradigm, wrong paradigm. Human attitudes and economy are completely fluid and can be influenced. But you treat them as a constraint.

Actually British system where local people have all legal say on conservation can be turned to advantage of wildlife. One sympathetic estate in Knepp was all what it took to bring back white storks. And all oppoosition elsewhere in Britain had no word. In the same way, it is enough to find one locality in Britain sympathetic to the lynx to have them back.

If the argument is that (re)introduction of species absent for hundreds of years should take place, then surely they must be introduced into a landscape that matches the temporal scale at the point they last existed? Otherwise what is the distinction in what is actually native/natural?!

Not true. As said before, large carnivores and most large birds can live in modern human-dominated landscape. They are not habitat specialists. Red kites were not released in places which resembles Medieval Britain the most.

I completely agree, but again, my point related to the apportion of available resources - it is my opinion that money should be spent on what we have that is of value, rather than what we don't have!

That is your purely personal opinion. I will offer an opposite opinion and can justify it. A good choice is to prioritize protection of very rare before rare and that before common. This would preserve the possibly full set of natural riches of Britain. Like a single pair of Ospreys in Britain was given more value than additional 100 pairs of Skylarks. In this hierarchy, the animal completely extinct in the country has the highest priority. Bringing it back enriches the natural riches of Britain more than moderately rare or common species.
 
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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Jurek said:
Do you think mainland Europe is a wilderness?

But we are not talking about mainland Europe. We are talking about reintroductions to the UK. I was responding to your point that Scotland was ‘less populated and one of more wild place’ in Europe. You missed out the second part of my reply (in bold) when you quoted me (which is your prerogative but weakens my point)


It may be less populated but 80% of Scotland’s land area is agricultural land, with 90% of sheep grazing in Less Favoured Areas/Areas of Natural Constraint with dairy and arable farming in lowland areas. This in addition to vast private estates managed for shooting.

I wonder, are you really so aware of the nature of land proprietary in Scotland? ‘More than half of Scotland is owned by fewer than 500 people’. These landed gentry not only have tenant sheep farms in ‘wild areas’ but vast (and I mean vast!) private estates managed for shooting deer, grouse, pheasant, salmon fishing, golf courses, hotels and camping. How long would it be once self-sustaining, before wolves and bears became unwanted ‘intruders’ on these enormous swathes of privately owned land? And if self-sustainability is not the objective but artificially managed token numbers of animals, then as Mono said earlier, what would be the point?

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/10/scotland-land-rights

Look at the map of land ownership in the link - you will see how fragmented this ‘wilderness’ is and if you take time to read the article, immediately it will be seen that the macro economy of Scotland is bound up in farming and shooting estates - with many in those occupations already in conflict with the idea of reintroductions based on (mis)conceived ideas about predation.

As for changing hearts and minds; these are not people who will relinquish their land to go and find ‘profitable city jobs’ while Scotland can be turned into a large nature reserve and given over to the sole enjoyment of eco-tourists.

There is, imo, an existential chasm separating your noble ideas of a green Utopia from the pragmatic truths that need to be addressed to get there.
 
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Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
The last few lynx might have been finished off by some medieval shepherds but they were on a downward trend of centuries due to habitat loss.

I am not against lynx in Britain but you need to get the habitat sorted before introduction and you need to get the land owners and users on side.

http://www.roydennis.org/o/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/The-Lynx-in-Britains-Past-Present-Future.pdf

Wetland habitats have been improved and expanded in recent decades and as a result we have egrets galore, increasing marsh harriers and purple herons all without artificial introduction.

They well be planning to introduce hundreds of stork at Knepp but without changes to agricultural practices throughout southern England they will have nowhere to go.

Animals and habitat go together and habitat comes first. Build it and they will come.

(This isn't a sixth form common room less insults more reasoning please)
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
(This isn't a sixth form common room less insults more reasoning please)

Who’s making insults? I thought my post was ‘reasoned’?

anyway, I’ll leave the students to debate amongst themselves, I’ve said all I wanted to on this topic.
 
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G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
I agree with jurek and disagree with everyone else here.
Deb, it has been demonstrated exactly where your reasoning falls apart. Yet you continue with your moaning about 'landscape changing' and do not even for one second think that, just as pointed out, red kites were wiped out in a medieval landscape, and now are foraging in a completely different countryside.
And they have it all thought through about white stork- and they will survive there. I don't know what your problem is with the storks, but a lot of ecologists determined they will do just fine. The WTE was wiped out on the Isle of Wight and it was largely terraformed when they were brought back. It is exactly the same thing- so no agricultural practices will stand in the way here, as they didn't stand in the way there.
Keep it up, the decision's been made though. No way back. Storks are back, and back permanently.
and I agree extinct animals should be given priority and yes they will survive because of an abundant food source. the deer population exploded in Scotland exactly when the wolf died- do you seriously think they'll have a problem with a terraformed landscape? The WTE didn't when brought back to the isle of Wight.
It has been determined, I'll say it again, the white stork is native, its reintroduction will bring no harm to anything and it already happened. Like with the WTE.
I can imagine the screaming on this thread which would have resulted if the positions of the stork and eagle would have been reversed. Amidst proof and evaluation by true ecologists who brought the eagle back, some would have called it idiotic, insisted that it has no place here because the landscape has changed way too much, it would wipe out a poor animal dying out and other nonsense.
THERE IS NO PROOF that white storks are idiotic, nor is their proof that they'll cause an ecosystem collapse, nor is there no proof they will not survive. And there is proof that they will survive.
Lynx was hunted to extinction and by habitat destruction. Period. There is enough habitat for it now otherwise the project would never have proceeded. White storks have all the habitat they want and are doing great now.
Priority should be bringing back extinct species, not worrying about nonsense about great crested newts being killed by white storks.
Would you similarly start screaming if a Montagu's harrier reintroduction happened somewhere? You'd start chanting 'Poor frogs!' 'Landscape changed too much!'. The success of the storks this year is proof that the habitat is still hospitable to storks. Even a lammergeier from the Pyrenees found the peak district hospitable, and it came from somewhere far to the south. I mean, are you even hearing yourself?
Similarly, priority should be given now to bringing back the dalmatian pelican, bear, wolf, stork and also reinforcing the Montagu and hen harrier population. And bringing back the eagle owl. Not worrying about hedgehogs being torn apart or frogs being swallowed whole.
I have found this forum quite biased, to be honest, aside from jurek. All I see is a complete hostility to reintroduction and incredible prejudice against some animals, in some cases gross incompetence with specific claims such as about lynx, and an overprotectiveness about some animals which can be commonly encountered everywhere even now.
I have yet to see ONE reason why the white stork project is 'idiotic' and the reasons why whoever claims that thinks he knows better than tonnes of ecologists bringing the stork back.
What the beavers faced was disgusting- and that practice should be abolished.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Well I wouldn’t even know where to start with your last post Gleb! I have not been ‘screaming’, I am not ‘biased to reintroductions’, I have not‘been moaning about landscape changes’, I do not ‘hate’ White Storks, nor suggested they will cause an ‘ecosystem collapse’, and I have absolutely no‘prejudice against some animals’, nor am I ‘anti-reintroductions’’!!

If that’s how my posts on this thread (and those I posted on your other thread on this topic) have come across to people, clearly I have failed to communicate my position effectively and the failure is mine as is the responsibility. I do suspect however, you are deliberately choosing to misrepresent my views even after I’ve clearly stated them, so I leave it at that. :C

I’ll let others decide how my posts have come across.

ps The problem with White Storks being reintroduced in Norfolk which is all I’ve referred to on this topic, (I’ve never mentioned Knepp but you kept mentioning the Brecks) is that White Storks predate the chicks of ground nesting birds - which generally is not an issue. But as I have repeatedly stated, the Brecks holds a significant proportion of the UK’s breeding population of Stone Curlew. For all sorts of reasons (that are too complex to go into), the population of breeding Stone Curlew remains very vulnerable and tenuous in the longterm - added predation pressures (along with corvids, foxes), in addition to existing agriculture pressures (ie ploughing) (even more so since funding to monitor and carry out interventions have ceased) all means, ‘yes’, in the Brecks particularly, a self-sustaining population of White Stork would present a risk.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
Well I wouldn’t even know where to start with your last post Gleb! I have not been ‘screaming’, I am not ‘biased to reintroductions’, I have not‘been moaning about landscape changes’, I do not ‘hate’ White Storks, nor suggested they will cause an ‘ecosystem collapse’, and I have absolutely no‘prejudice against some animals’, nor am I ‘anti-reintroductions’’!!

If that’s how my posts on this thread (and those I posted on your other thread on this topic) have come across to people, clearly I have failed to communicate my position effectively and the failure is mine as is the responsibility. I do suspect however, you are deliberately choosing to misrepresent my views even after I’ve clearly stated them, so I leave it at that. :C

I’ll let others decide how my posts have come across.

ps The problem with White Storks being reintroduced in Norfolk which is all I’ve referred to on this topic, (I’ve never mentioned Knepp but you kept mentioning the Brecks) is that White Storks predate the chicks of ground nesting birds - which generally is not an issue. But as I have repeatedly stated, the Brecks holds a significant proportion of the UK’s breeding population of Stone Curlew. For all sorts of reasons (that are too complex to go into), the population of breeding Stone Curlew remains very vulnerable and tenuous in the longterm - added predation pressures (along with corvids, foxes), in addition to existing agriculture pressures (ie ploughing) (even more so since funding to monitor and carry out interventions have ceased) all means, ‘yes’, in the Brecks particularly, a self-sustaining population of White Stork would present a risk.

I meant white storks in Sussex! Obviously introducing them into the Brecks will be a problem, but fox are just a problem to them as any storks will be. Or anything else which predates on ground-nesting birds. I meant other places like Sussex and places in East Anglia where there are no birds like that. Besides, do you know how much eggs a stone-curlew lays on average? Well, not all are likely to survive I think, and disease I think is actually a greater problem than predators. Obviously a new predator will have its risk, but given everything else it is unlikely to make that big a difference to cause a complete extinction. Besides, the chicks of the storks might themselves be predated by goshawks, so that's a double-edged sword, I think.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
I meant white storks in Sussex! Obviously introducing them into the Brecks will be a problem, but fox are just a problem to them as any storks will be. Or anything else which predates on ground-nesting birds. I meant other places like Sussex and places in East Anglia where there are no birds like that. Besides, do you know how much eggs a stone-curlew lays on average? Well, not all are likely to survive I think, and disease I think is actually a greater problem than predators. Obviously a new predator will have its risk, but given everything else it is unlikely to make that big a difference to cause a complete extinction. Besides, the chicks of the storks might themselves be predated by goshawks, so that's a double-edged sword, I think.

And the Lynx of course - they'll probably decimate the Foxes, Goshawks AND the Storks.
 

Borjam

Registered User
Supporter
And the Lynx of course - they'll probably decimate the Foxes, Goshawks AND the Storks.


At least in Spain the main prey of the lynx are rabbits. Even in Doñana there are some introduced rabbits including some fence protection around their lairs so that lynxes can jump but they are reasonably safe from other predators.

And in Doñana you can find plenty of breeding birds. Yet, rabbits seem to be the species most threatened by lynx.
 

david kelly

Drive-by Birder
At least in Spain the main prey of the lynx are rabbits. Even in Doñana there are some introduced rabbits including some fence protection around their lairs so that lynxes can jump but they are reasonably safe from other predators.

And in Doñana you can find plenty of breeding birds. Yet, rabbits seem to be the species most threatened by lynx.

A different, smaller species of lynx. The lynx extirpated from Britain was the Eurasian Lynx. They will eat rabbits but seem to prefer Roe Deer.

David
 

Borjam

Registered User
Supporter
A different, smaller species of lynx. The lynx extirpated from Britain was the Eurasian Lynx. They will eat rabbits but seem to prefer Roe Deer.

Sorry, I stand corrected then.

That said, lynx would be beneficial to forests by controlling roe deer populations, right? In Spain there is a similar problem that more wolves would help to tackle.

Of course human hunters claim to do it. Meh.
 

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